State grants Flint extension of water relief credits - WNEM TV 5

State grants Flint extension of water relief credits

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The Water Relief Program in Flint, which provides water customers with a credit on their bill, has been extended through March 31, 2017. 

Residential customers receive a 65 percent credit and commercial customers receive a 20 percent credit on the water charges on their accounts. The credit dates back to April 2014 when the city made the water source switch to the Flint River.

The program has a stipulation requiring the city to have at least a 70 percent collection rate for the credits to stay in place. The city is currently below the requirement, but the state acknowledged the progress through the city's collection program, the city of Flint said.

“We are pleased the state has agreed to continue providing the credits to our water customers,” said David Sabuda Flint's Interim Chief Financial Officer. “We know many wish even more was being done, but we’ll take the help we can get and the savings is appreciated.  Now, we ask that our customers help us keep the credits in place as long as possible by paying their bill for the water and sewer services the City has provided. We thank the residential and commercial customers who have complied with the program. Those who have not complied have lost their credits, incurred late charges on their accounts, and are now part of the review process to be placed on the shut off list.  Account holders who owe the most and have not made a recent payment will be at the top of the list.  This plan is necessary to help the City increase its collection rate and preserve the credit program for all utility customers as Flint continues to recover from the effects of the man-made water crisis."

Earlier this year, the state provided $30 million in water relief credits. The funds were used to apply credits to customers’ utility accounts for the period of April 2014 through April 2016.

Subsequent water relief credits of over $9 million have also been applied to the accounts of residential and commercial customers.  

“We are willing to work with residents unable to meet the full terms of their required payment, but Flint City officials must also show the state that our customers are paying for the services we provide,” Sabuda added.

Customers with financial hardships who want to ensure that their credits stay in place and that they are not placed on the shut off list, should come to Flint City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative in the Customer Service Center.  Customers can also call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015.     

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